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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Power Rankings: Double the Fun Edition

The week’s Power Rankings is almost guaranteed to get at least one “OK Boomer” comment, but I can’t help it that I have been around for so long.

The Wrigley Chewing Gum company should sponsor Kevin Harvick, because he doubled his pleasure and doubled his fun last weekend at Michigan International Speedway. In the process, the No. 4 team because the first team to win NASCAR Cup Series races in consecutive days since the King Richard Petty did it back in 1971, though it was an even tougher feat for Happy Harvick. The top-20 invert for the second race of the doubleheader should have handicapped Harvick, but it just seemed to make him race even harder! There is no doubt who is on top this week. 

  1. Kevin Harvick – All it took was to suggest that his leadership in Power Rankings was getting precarious to see Harvick and the No. 4 team turn up the notch in the Irish Hills. Back-to-back wins solidifies his hold on the number one spot for a while. 
  2. Denny Hamlin – The numbers that keep Denny in second place this week are 182-16 and 2-0. The first set of numbers were the total laps led at Michigan in the two races; Harvick beating the No. 11 team by a landslide. The second was the number of wins over the weekend. Hamlin continues to be the best driver in the top five without a championship. 
  3. Brad Keselowski – Despite breaking the first rule of racing a teammate in the second half of the weekend doubleheader at Michigan, it’s hard to demote Bad Brad. His second-place finish in race one, combined with his strong run before the wreck in race two keeps him third.
  4. Martin Truex Jr. – Nobody in the Cup series continues to be harmed more by the lack of qualifying than Truex. You know he would have qualified better than 12th and 18th, yet he was able to bag a pair of third-place finishes giving him an amazing streak of four straight top-three finishes.
  5. Kyle Busch – I was convinced last week was the week Rowdy would end his winless drought for 2020 that I bet the farm on it. The good news is that it was just a Lego Farm, so I’m not too deep in the hole. The younger Busch brother hops over the older one by beating him twice in the head-to-head Busch League. 
  6. Kurt Busch – Failure to win the Family Grudge Match two races in a row drops the elder Busch one spot this week. The fact he has been able to be this competitive in a car that is clearly just a short step below the top teams is very impressive, though. 
  7. Chase Elliott – Have you heard the old saying, “Always a bridesmaid never a bride?” Lately, Elliott hasn’t been able to win and is sometimes far enough back in the top 10 that he wouldn’t even qualify as a bridesmaid unless it was a large wedding party. But three top 10s in a row make it hard to demote him lower than seventh. 
  8. Joey Logano – Three strong finishes in a row and five top-10 finishes in his last seven races since I last made fun of his glasses. I think that is called “progress.”
  9. Aric Almirola – His streak of top-10 finishes ended in race one at Michigan, but he bounced back to start another streak in race two. But I guess that means we can say it has been 10 consecutive “weekends” for a top-10 finish.  
  10. Ryan Blaney – Two more strong races for Blaney, albeit one strong finish, keeps him in 10th place this week. If he had clobbered his teammate after being taken out by Bad Brad, he might have scored enough style points to move up a notch.  
  11. Alex Bowman – Bowman the Showman is 11th in points, so its very fitting that poor performances by others moves him up to 11th in Power Rankings this week. It wasn’t a good weekend by any measure, but others did even worse. 
  12. Clint Bowyer -This has been a weird year of underachieving finishes for NASCAR’s funny man. It’s been seven races since he has seen a top-10 finish, but he has managed to stay in the top 12 in points and in the Power Rankings
  13. Matt DiBenedetto – Two more impressive races by the guy they call Guido, because so few can pronounce his last name, earns the Wood Brothers Racing driver a move-up in the Power Rankings this week. Bad timing for cautions might have even cost him a better finish. 
  14. Tyler Reddick – It was two tough finishes for Reddick last weekend at Michigan, but everyone knew he was in the race again.
  15. Cole Custer – A little of the Cold melted off the Custard this weekend at Michigan for the only rookie with a win this year. That four-wide move for the win was impressive enough to keep him in the Power Rankings even if he struggles a few more races in a row. 
  16. William Byron – Did you know that William Byron is the only driver in the top 16 in the Power Rankings who got his start in iRacing? Since the television coverage of NASCAR moved away from Mike Joy and FOX, I figured I better carry the torch on the weekly iRacing reminders! 

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